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The Long Gilded Age: American Capitalism and the Lessons of a New World Order

It was my pleasure to narrate The Long Gilded Age: American Capitalism and the Lessons of a New World Order. In a political year, this book should be required reading or listening for every voter!

From the end of the 19th century through the first decades of the 20th, the United States experienced unprecedented structural change. Advances in communication and manufacturing technology brought about a revolution for major industries such as railroads, coal, and steel. The still-growing nation established economic, political, and cultural entanglements with forces overseas. Local strikes in manufacturing, urban transit, and construction placed labor issues front and center in political campaigns, legislative corridors, church pulpits, and newspapers of the era. 

The Long Gilded Age considers the interlocking roles of politics, labor, and internationalism in the ideologies and institutions that emerged at the turn of the 20th century. Presenting a new twist on central themes of American labor and working-class history, Leon Fink examines how the American conceptualization of free labor played out in iconic industrial strikes and how "freedom" in the workplace became overwhelmingly tilted toward individual property rights at the expense of larger community standards. He investigates the legal and intellectual centers of progressive thought, situating American policy actions within an international context. 

The Long Gilded Age offers both transnational and comparative looks at a formative era in American political development, placing this tumultuous period within a worldwide confrontation between the capitalist marketplace and social transformation.

The audiobook is available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes.  A sample is provided here:


The Healing Path: A Soul Approach to Illness

I have completed narration on a classic work dealing with the mysteries of illness and healing. It is a work that will interest anyone who is ill, who cares for someone who is, or who wants to learn more about the process of healing.

This classic work is a journey to the heart of healing. With a foreword by Dr. Bernie Siegel, it has been acclaimed by Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen as "a masterful, awesome feat" and called by Dr. Joan Borysenko "a classic that rings with authenticity". It presents a guide to the healing process from the unique standpoint of patients who have overcome devastating odds. Replete with new science, it forms a bridge between the worlds of conventional and alternative medicine. It shows how the darkest passages of human life can become a journey of the soul. 

Here is a book for anyone who has a serious illness, has a loved one who is ill, treats the ill, or simply wishes to live a more healing life. It is a map to an ancient quest: the journey from hardship to wholeness. 

The audiobook is available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes.  A sample is provided here:


The Unfinished Leader: Balancing Contradictory Answers to Unsolvable Problems

I recently completed the narration of this outstanding book that provides tools for dealing with the most complex and difficult "problems" of our time.  Whether in business, non-profits or government, recognizing that some problems are so complex and paradoxical that they cannot be permanently solved, but will need regular attention from knowledgeable leaders, is key.  I'd love to require listening to this audiobook for every individual running for the U. S. House of Representatives or the U. S. Senate.  We'd all get better, more responsive and effective government if more of our political leaders practiced the skills outlined here.

With the demands of technology, transparency, and constant connectedness, and calls for higher performance, leaders from the front line to the C-suite face complex dilemmas that cannot be easily denied or postponed. These perplexing, recurring issues are familiar to anyone in a leadership role today, including:

  • How do I balance my functional or business unit goals with the needs of my peers and the whole company?
  • How do I support and promote others while still advancing my own career?
  • How do I emphasize teamwork and still reward the "stars"?
  • Can I really devote enough time and energy to both family and work?

These are not "problems" but paradoxes - situations in which there will never be a single correct solution - and while they make many leaders feel overwhelmed and challenged, this remarkable book provides help. The Unfinished Leader is a modern handbook for recognizing, facing, and inspiring others to expose the real issues that underlie paradoxes in modern organizations. Leaders must first recognize situations they will never be able to "solve" and understand how to confront the barriers - in their own heads and their organizations - that push them toward seeking ultimate solutions that don’t exist. Leading through complexity requires giving up the illusion of control, consistency, and closure, while embracing the reality of being permanently "unfinished".

Drawing from interviews with 100 CEOs and top leaders from a wide range of companies - such as Avon, Nike, Colgate, DeutschePost DHL, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, and many more - The Unfinished Leader provides the mindsets and tools to recognize contradictory requirements, understand competing demands, and still be able to take action. No one can find or even should look for perfect solutions to impossible situations. The Unfinished Leader will help leaders at all levels understand and excel at their true task: guiding themselves and their teams through ongoing paradoxes, reconciling competing outcomes, continually changing and adapting, and thereby building lasting success.

The audiobook is available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes.  A sample is provided here:


Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies

I recently completed the narration of Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies. In this provocative book one of the most brilliant scholars of religion today dismantles distorted religious "histories" offered up by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and other contemporary critics of religion and advocates of atheism. David Bentley Hart provides a bold correction of the New Atheists’s misrepresentations of the Christian past, countering their polemics with a brilliant account of Christianity and its message of human charity as the most revolutionary movement in all of Western history.

Hart outlines how Christianity transformed the ancient world in ways we may have forgotten: bringing liberation from fatalism, conferring great dignity on human beings, subverting the cruelest aspects of pagan society, and elevating charity above all virtues. He then argues that what we term the "Age of Reason" was in fact the beginning of the eclipse of reason’s authority as a cultural value. Hart closes the book in the present, delineating the ominous consequences of the decline of Christendom in a culture that is built upon its moral and spiritual values.  An audio sample is provided below.  This audiobook is available at Audible, Amazon and iTunes.



The Eyes of Orion: Five Tank Lieutenants in the Persian Gulf War

I just completed the narration and production The Eyes of Orion:  Five Tank Lieutenants in the Persian Gulf War.  Winner of the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Book Award, The Eyes of Orion is a highly personal account of the day-to-day experiences of five platoon leaders who served in the same tank battalion in the 24th Infantry Division during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

While professional soldiers and historians will undoubtedly glean much from this narrative, the heart of the account concerns the experiences of the five young lieutenants as they prepared for and served in combat - from their deployment to Saudi Arabia through their six months in the desert training for war, their four days in combat and several weeks of occupation in Iraq, and finally their homecoming. The authors treat their combat experience in Saudi and Kuwait from the perspective of junior officers, all in their twenties and just out of college (four are graduates of West Point and one received his commission through an ROTC program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney), who served on the front line - facing physical, personal, moral, and leadership challenges.

A sample, taken from the preface, written by General Barry R. McCaffrey is provided below.  The audiobook is available at Audible, Amazon and iTunes.